IFC - International Finance Corporation

06/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2024 05:31

IFC Provides Financing for Landmark Wind Plant to Boost Clean Energy in Romania

  • IFC is providing long-term debt financing for 461-megawatt Vifor Wind Power Plant.
  • New plant will be one of country's first large-scale privately contracted renewable energy projects.
  • It will help reduce Romania energy sector's carbon footprint by an estimated 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year.

Bucharest, Romania, June 13, 2024-IFC is providing long-term debt financing for the 461-megawatt (MW) Vifor Wind Power Plant, to boost the supply of competitively priced renewable energy in Romania. The project will play a significant role in reducing Romania's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and bolstering the country's climate commitments and energy transition goals.

Developed through a joint venture between Rezolv Energy S.A., the regional energy platform of global infrastructure investor Actis, and global renewable energy company Low Carbon, Vifor is being developed under two phases. Phase 1 starting construction for an installed capacity of 192 megawatts, and Phase 2 for an additional 269 megawatts of incremental capacity, currently preparing for construction. IFC's loan for Phase 1 consists of €21.4 million from IFC's own account and is part of a larger €291 million financing package alongside commercial banks and other lenders.

The new project will be one of Romania's first large-scale greenfield renewable energy projects financed without public support. Once fully operational, it is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of Romania's energy sector by an estimated 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year, supporting the country's goal of reducing net GHG emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030.

Rezolv Energy's Jan Viton, Financing and M&A Director, said: "This is a truly landmark project and the first one Rezolv Energy brings to financial close. We are very proud at the interest this financing has generated among a wide spectrum of financial institutions, and we are delighted to have established a core group of lenders including IFC, which we hope to continue to call upon in the future as we deliver our pipeline of renewables projects across the region."

"We are delighted to be partnering with IFC on Vifor, who will play a crucial role in its establishment by helping to unlock capital to finance the project," said Martin Langham, Managing Director at Low Carbon. "Once built, Vifor will be one of the largest wind projects in Eastern Europe and reinforces our track record of working with institutional investors to deliver large-scale renewable infrastructure, while playing a key role in supporting Romania's efforts to decarbonize its electricity grid."

While Romania has made progress in reducing GHG emissions, the country still relies heavily on fossil fuels, resulting in an emissions intensity 1.4 times higher than the European Union average. The scheduled 2032 phase-out of coal for electricity generation means an estimated $31.5 billion in investment is needed to facilitate the energy transition in the power generation and storage sector.

The wind power plant, to be located near Buzau in southeastern Romania, will also offer a pioneering hybrid energy sales model, combining wholesale electricity market sales and corporate power purchase agreements with commercial and industrial customers and traders.

"To achieve its climate commitments, Romania needs to accelerate its deployment of clean energy sources," said Ary Naïm, IFC Manager for Central and South Europe. "IFC is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Rezolv Energy and Low Carbon on this landmark project, to help demonstrate the bankability of private utility-scale onshore wind generation projects selling power on purely commercial terms and spur the energy transition in the country and region."

Romania represents IFC's largest country exposure in Europe, with a portfolio of $2.1 billion, and its 10th largest globally.

About Rezolv Energy

Rezolv is an independent renewable energy producer. We provide subsidy-free clean energy at a long-term, stable price for industrial and commercial users, and other off-takers, operating across Central and South Eastern Europe. Built on a heritage of 15 years in clean energy, we take renewable projects - wind, solar and storage - from late-stage development through construction and into long-term operation. With long-term investment backing from Actis, one of the world's foremost energy investors, we are building a multi-GW portfolio that will help companies and countries meet their energy needs today and in the future. For more information, please visit: rezolv.energy

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon creates large-scale renewable energy to fight climate change. We are a long-standing certified B-Corporation and recognized as a gold standard for our environmental impact. We invest in, develop, and operate solar, wind, energy storage, and energy from waste projects across the UK, Europe, and North America. We're contributing to the world's move to 100% renewable energy by creating and operating 20 GW of new capacity by 2030. We have more than 16 GW in new renewables in development right now across the globe. For more information, please visit www.lowcarbon.com

About IFC

IFC - a member of the World Bank Group - is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2023, IFC committed a record $43.7 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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